One Piece is teasing a return to Wano's present day with the promo for the next episode of the series! The anime has recently ended Oden's flashback arc, which was a mini-arc within the third act of the Wano Country arc overall. This look back revealed Oden Kozuki's history and importance to not only Wano's past but many of the core mysteries of the series as well. The anime's version of the arc included some new elements original to the anime, and has generally been seen as a great improvement to that original flashback from the manga.
But with the previous episode of the series returning to the immediate fallout of Oden's death and the destruction of his castle (which eventually led to some of the Akazaya Nine being flung 20 years into the future), the next episode is teasing a return to the present as now fans will get to see the final fight of the Wano Country arc in full in anime form. Check out the preview for Episode 976 below as spotted by @MerciusJambe13 on Twitter:
Episode 976's title confirms this further with, "Back to the Present Day! 20 Years Later!" and the preview sees how the members of the Akazaya Nine left in the past had to struggle for the two decades in Oden's absence. With his final order for them being to open the gates of Wano (to eventually help out someone very important apparently coming to the country someday), they have been carrying that burden along with all of their other troubles in the past 20 years.
When we had last seen Luffy and the others, the Straw Hats and rebel forces had gathered for an assault on Onigashima. Unfortunately their plans had been halted as Orochi had bombed all of the ports the rebel forces had planned to use. The Akazaya Nine were left looking out into an empty sea and had no hopes of getting to Onigashima on their own. With a return to this present day story, we'll soon see how that shakes out.
Are you excited to see the anime returning to Luffy's adventures in the present day? What did you think of the Oden Flashback overall? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!